British Government ministers and civil servants have been banned from using the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok on their work phones and devices over security concerns. The move brings the UK in line with the EU, US and Canada but do you support it? Vote in our poll.
Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden announced the decision on Thursday, telling the House of Commons the ban was a “precautionary” move but would have “immediate effect” as there “could” be a risk to how government data and information is used by the app.
He emphasised that the decision was purely for government devices, explaining: “This ban applies to government corporate devices within ministerial and non-ministerial departments, but it will not extend to personal devices for government employees or ministers or the general public. That is because, as I have outlined, this is a proportionate move based on a specific risk with government devices.”
READ MORE: TikTok banned from some UK phones today over security fears
He added that there will be “limited exemptions” on a “case by case basis” where the app is required for work purposes.
The video-sharing app has come under scrutiny for its security and data privacy. Tiktik has denied allegations that it hands user data to the Chinese government.
The app is owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, who are “disappointed with this decision”.
A spokesperson said: “We believe these bans have been based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics, in which TikTok, and our millions of users in the UK, play no part.
“We remain committed to working with the government to address any concerns but should be judged on facts and treated equally to our competitors.
“We have begun implementing a comprehensive plan to further protect our European user data, which includes storing UK user data in our European data centres and tightening data access controls, including third-party independent oversight of our approach.”
So what do YOU think? Do you agree with TikTok being banned from government phones? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.